Hunting for a new roommate is never a fun task, but there are some signs that you and your roommate don’t get along that you just can’t ignore.
Sharing a space can be difficult and, whether your roommate is borrowing your clothes without asking or you find yourself constantly cleaning up after them, some people just aren’t compatible as roommates.
It can be tough to identify when your living situation just isn’t working out, so we’ve put together a list of signs that it might be time to hunt for a new person to cohabitate with. It’s important to note that a lot of these signs can be fixed by having a chat with your roommate and reaching a compromise, but if you’ve attempted to address these issues with a conversation and you don’t see any change, it’s probably time to find someone new to share your space with.
Related: Editor’s share: The Slice staff is sharing our weirdest roommate stories ever.
So, if you’re starting to feel a lot of tension at home and don’t know where it’s coming from, here are 10 signs that you need a new roommate.
You find being home stressful
Do you find yourself constantly in a state of stress – especially when you’re at home? Well, your roommate could be the problem.
Author and relationship expert Alexis Nicole White tells Bustle that long-term emotional stress can show up in your body “any time you have continuous situations that create fear, resentment and anger regarding a violation of respect, wishes and simple requests.” So, if you find yourself dreading being home, staying out late to avoid being in your apartment or walking on egg shells around your roommate, it could be because of the stress about your living situation.
Related: 10 questions to ask your potential roommate *before* moving in.
You’re always cleaning up their mess/doing the chores
Even if you’re someone who has a calming or spiritual cleaning routine, regularly cleaning up after your roommate can definitely burn you out. Take some time to talk with your roommate about the issue and try to establish chores and routines that both of you can follow.
If, after that, you still find yourself taking on all of the household chores, it could be high time to find a new person to cohabitate with.
You regularly feel run down
This one may come as a surprise, but if you’re feeling run down all of the time, it could be a sign that your health is taking a toll because of your roommate. A 2017 study in PLOS Genetics discovered that several health traits in lab mice (like anxiety, body weight and immune system) are partially a result of the genes of other mice who share the same cage. Ultimately, it concluded that a mouse’s anxiety levels, immune response and wound healing are, in part, a result of the genes of the mice that surround it.
Plus, as The Atlantic points out, stress can actually make you sick. When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands release more cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine. High cortisol levels can not only increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, but it can make you “more vulnerable to infection.” Thus, if your roommate is putting you in a chronic state of stress, you may find yourself sick far more often than you were before you lived with them.
Related: 10 signs that moving to a new city might benefit your mental health.
They borrow your stuff without asking
It can be fun to swap clothes or accessories with your roommate for a special event or a date, but if it quickly turns into a habit for them and they borrow things without asking, it can feel like a big invasion of privacy. Sometimes it can get to the point where you notice your clothes are missing and your roommate strolls in donning your favourite scarf. If that’s the case, it’s time to evaluate if your living situation is still working for you.
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You regularly get into arguments
This is one of the more obvious ones, but if you’re constantly get into fights with your roommate, it goes without saying that the two of you just may not be compatible enough to live together. While it’s natural for people to have some pretty big differences, it’s important that your differences are treated with respect and kindness. It might be difficult when a living situation doesn’t work out, but it’s much more difficult to live in a house filled with tension and tiffs.
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You’re not sleeping well
Roommates can have a pretty severe impact on your sleep. If you have different schedules – for example, one of you works a night shift and the other doesn’t – it’s pretty likely that one roommate will be awake while the other is asleep. Whether they keep you up by talking, playing loud music or even snoring, if your roommate is impacting your sleep it could be time to get yourself out of the situation. Especially considering a lack of sleep has been linked to mental illness.
Related: 10 reasons why you can never get enough sleep.
There are always unwanted guests in your apartment
Of course it’s important to be able to have friends over, but if your home starts to feel like its overflowing with unwanted guests, it could start to affect how comfortable you feel in your place.
If you can establish an agreement that feels fair to both you and your roommate(s), then problem solved. But, if you ask for a heads-up when strangers are coming over and you still feel like your privacy isn’t being respected, it may be time to find someone that you’re more compatible with.
Ultimately, this one is all about personal boundaries, and if your boundaries aren’t being respected, it’s a sign that it’s time to switch to a new roommate.
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They’re always late on paying rent
Do you find yourself constantly chasing your roommate for their late rent, money for utilities or cash for communal home products like toilet paper and cleaning supplies? This could be a sign you’re your roommate isn’t upholding their responsibilities in your household.
Sure, everyone falls into tight financial situations sometimes, but if your roommate’s ability to pay rent starts to fall on you, it could be time for you to find a new place with more stability.
Related: 4 key financial topics to discuss before you move in with someone.
You don’t feel comfortable being yourself at home
While it can be important to be able to make compromises, it’s also essential to be able to be your true self in your home. Whether you feel afraid of a lecture or ridicule from your roommate, the nature of your relationship can definitely create anxiety around expressing yourself.
If you find yourself censoring who you are, it may be time to hunt for a new roommate. If you can’t be yourself in your own space, where can you be yourself?
Related: My story: Why do my partner and I have to come out while apartment hunting?
You constantly feel resentful or annoyed when they’re around
Once you’ve reached the point of feeling full of resent when your roommate enters the room, it’s pretty much a telltale sign that it’s time to get a new roommate or find a new place. If you’re angry or irritated by things they do that normally wouldn’t bother you, you’ve likely built up resentment for them over time.
Not only is this a sign that the living situation is bad for you, but it probably doesn’t feel too great for your roommate either. When you’re constantly frustrated with the person you live with, it’s a sign that the relationship has gotten toxic and maybe the two of you just aren’t compatible as roommates. Plus, moving out or finding someone else to take their room could give the both of you the space you need to develop your friendship in new ways.
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